Foundations announced they're giving $20 million to trans issues. These stats show why.

These foundations just pledged a historic amount of money to support the transgender rights movement.

2015 has been a breakout year for the visibility of transgender people.

Laverne Cox and Janet Mock. Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Cosmopolitan.


President Obama became the first president to even utter the word "transgender" during a State of the Union address. Transgender model Andreja Pejic was featured in a Vogue photo spread. And former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner took the cover of Vanity Fair to accompany an in-depth interview about coming out as a transgender woman. Also? "Orange Is the New Black" breakout star Laverne Cox was cast in a network TV drama, and Janet Mock was a guest on Oprah's popular show "Super Soul Sunday." And that's just to name a few!

Visibility of trans folk and their issues is one thing, but financial resources to make real progress? That's been in short supply. Which is why this is completely awesome:

A group of nonprofits including the Arcus and NoVo foundations recently announced they're putting $20 million toward transgender issues over the next five years.

Trans activist CeCe McDonald (left) and Katie Burgess of the Trans Youth Support Network. Image via National LGBTQ Task Force/YouTube.

It's about time. Transgender leaders and their movement have been dramatically underfunded. And the need for resources has only increased because with more visibility comes, unfortunately, more backlash. More funding means being able to push back against harmful campaigns like ones that frame transgender people as sexual predators so they can't use gender-segregated bathrooms. (Yep, that happens.) It also means being able capitalize on the moment to push for better policies.

To be sure the money really has an impact, the nonprofits are funneling it directly to the community.

Photo by Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images.

Instead of going to organizations that include the T in LGBT as a part of their broader agenda, the money will be directed right to the people who know what trans people need best: transgender leaders and groups.

A report from Funders for LGBTQ Issues found that funding for trans issues is at a record high, with $8.3 million in funding in 2013. No small sum, but that only amounts to 0.015% of all foundation funding in the past 10 years. With the guidance of trans advisors, this coalition will give that percentage a much-needed boost.

The money is meant to empower grantees in a push for meaningful change — both culturally and legally — that will improve the lives of transgender people.

Photo by Ted Eytan/Flickr.

Visibility is good because it's a sign of cultural change and acceptance, but it isn't enough. That's why the coalition is focused on creating long-lasting change with an eye to these issues:

Economic justice: Transgender people are much more likely to be homeless, live in poverty, and experience workplace discrimination and harassment. A whopping 90% of trans people have experienced workplace harassment and discrimination. Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that trans people are four times as likely to live in extreme poverty, earning less than $10,000/year.

Improving access to health care: The widespread discrimination that transpeople experience takes a toll on both their physical and mental health. 41% of transgender people have attempted suicide, which is exponentially higher than the general population's 1.6% rate. And about half of trans people find themselves playing the role of teacher when they seek health care because so many providers are clueless when it comes to addressing trans needs.

Ending violence: What's often left out of the mainstream conversation about trans issues is that transgender folks — especially trans people of color — face an extremely high rate of violence. A National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs report found that almost three-quarters of hate violence homicide victims are transgender women, who largely underreport it because they are likely to experience additional violence at the hands of police.

These statistics show just how necessary this funding is.

Photo by Ted Eytan/Flickr.

That $20 million will allow nonprofits and leaders to get meaningful policy on the books that would require transgender people to be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve. And if people don't want to follow non-discriminatory policies? Funding for organizations like the Transgender Law Center will help trans people get representatives fighting for them in court.

The funders hope this new financial commitment will create a domino effect in the philanthropic community.

Hopefully, this will just be the beginning. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Jason McGill of the Arcus Foundation said, "Transgender leaders and their movement have been dramatically underfunded. We anticipate that other funders will join us."

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see the impact of this much-needed change.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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